Multifragmentation of a very heavy nuclear system (II): bulk properties and spinodal decomposition
The properties of fragments and light charged particles emitted in multifragmentation of single sources formed in central 36 AMeV Gd+U collisions are reviewed. Most of the products are isotropically distributed in the reaction c.m. Fragment kinetic energies reveal the onset of radial collective energy. A bulk effect is experimentally evidenced from the similarity of the charge distribution with that from the lighter 32 AMeV Xe+Sn system. Spinodal decomposition of finite nuclear matter exhibits the same property in simulated central collisions for the two systems, and appears therefore as a possible mechanism at the origin of multifragmentation in this incident energy domain.